August 24, 2010 by admncc
I thought “Yo Adrian” was a great way to start this post. As you know, that quote was made famous by Sylvester Stallone in the “Rocky” movies. But I started off with it because this post is about a new and quirky Philadelphia law that has many bloggers in an uproar.
The law requires bloggers to pay $300 for a business license. So, Marilyn Bess and Sean Barry, for example, who have made a whopping $50 and $11 respectively on their blogs over the last two years, have to pay $300 for a license. Because, according to this Washington Examiner article, Philadelphia thinks blogging is “a potential moneymaker, and the city wants its cut.” Bess said, “The real kick in the pants is that I don’t even have a full-time job, so for the city to tell me to pony up $300 for a business privilege license, pay wage tax, business privilege tax, net profits tax on a handful of money is outrageous.” When Bess complained to the city, she was told to “hire an accountant.” Apparently all Philadelphia-based bloggers who reported even the “smallest profits” on their taxes were sent letters informing them of this licensure requirement.
Now I don’t know about you, but blogging is a hobby for me. I do it on the side of my day job. I’ve picked up a few advertisers along the way and utilize tools such as Google AdSense. But this will never be my full-time job. I’ve spoken to Extreme John, Dani Cally and Jordashe Kingston about the money that can be made from blogging, since they’re all very successful. But to me, this will always be a hobby. And I think it is ridiculous for Philadelphia to require business licenses for people reporting $11 and $50 over a two-year period. Some states don’t even blink an eye until you’ve reported more than $200 in annual income from the Internet. My guess – as typical with Internet legislation, whomever proposed this law in Philadelphia has no knowledge whatsoever of blogging. Thanks to NeoConDon for the story lead.